Search on for new superintendent
BY PAT FARNELLI
Interviews are in process for the selection of a new Montrose Area superintendent.
Former superintendent Michael Ognosky tendered his resignation over the summer, leaving the district to pursue a career as a collegiate basketball official. His last day at Montrose was November 1.
Retired Western Wayne superintendent Andrew Falonk is currently serving as the interim superintendent.
The board also dealt with several other changes in the administration.
Mike Boccella thanked the board for his appointment as acting principal. Boccella was appointed to the position by the board in November.
Current high school principal, James Tallarico, is leaving in January to take the helm as the superintendent of the Mid Valley School District.
Eric Powers was appointed as acting assistant high school principal effective Jan. 2 through June 30, with prorated Act 93 benefits.
Power’s position as a social studies and English teacher was discussed during the work session, and the board later approved advertising for a social studies long term substitute teacher. The English department may be able to absorb the single English class previously taught by Powers, who is dual certified, Caterson said.
The Treasurer’s report was approved including the 22 Capital Reserve Fund account. Business manager Michelle Lusk noted that a payment of $65,664 was made to Edmund Inc. for the conversion of the second boiler to natural gas, leaving a balance of $18,330.
A resolution was approved stating that the district will not raise taxes above the PDE approved index for the 2014-15 budget.
The board accepted with regret the resignation of Russell Canevari as head football coach effective Nov. 20.
Caterson said, “I want to thank Russ for his work over the past three years. I appreciate what he has done for our football program during his tenure.”
An unpaid leave of absence from Dec. 3 through Apr. 13 was granted to Spanish teacher Bridget Merritt, extending her leave for family matters, Caterson said.
Board member Pamela Staats expressed some concerns about the senior class trip. She said that her impression was that last year’s senior trip planning was “kind of scattered,” and that it never did take place.
Boccella said that this year, a destination has already been chosen and that planning is well underway.
Boccella also announced that Myra Lattimore has been selected as Scholar of the Year.
“She had her interview, and it went very well, which surprised no one,” he said.
The high school musical “Spamalot” was a big success, it was agreed.
“I must have needed a laugh, because I started laughing two minutes in, and I never stopped,” Caterson said. “It was a fantastic presentation.”
He commended director Heather Winn for the production.
Technical director Craig Owens reported that there was a hardware failure of the video server at Choconut Valley Elementary, and that he had to replace it with a new one, which is working well.
He said that the district has been awarded a $25,000 grant through the Safe Schools Initiative, which will be used for outdoor security camera upgrades.
Owens said that the technology department is currently transitioning the district to Microsoft Office 365, which will allow all students to share point sites, and to access all MS Office programs.
He said that the infrastructure is already in place that will allow
students to access their own email while still in a monitored environment.
“We already have all the user accounts created, and they can be initiated after Christmas,” he said.
The administrative initiative to tighten up the high school’s security after school and to limit access to the building has been going well so far, Owens said.